California Celebrates 20 Years of Paid Family Leave with Families and Community Partners


NR No. 24-25
Contact: Loree Levy/Greg Lawson

What You Need to Know: California celebrates 20 years of paying the nation’s first Paid Family Leave benefits to support workers when they need to take time away from work to care for loved ones. The Employment Development Department invited the public to celebrate this remarkable milestone at a family resource fair on the Westside of the State Capitol in Sacramento, California, on Monday, July 1, 2024. In addition to hosting the event featuring a valuable network of community and state groups offering resources that strengthen California families, the EDD released a special report highlighting the impact of PFL on working families in the Golden State. Pictures of the commemorative event at the Capitol are also available on EDD’s website.

people celebrating in front of the capital

SACRAMENTO – Today, the Employment Development Department (EDD) held a resource fair on the Capitol steps to celebrate 20 years of California’s first-in-the-nation Paid Family Leave (PFL) program. PFL has delivered nearly $16 billion in aid to support   more than 4.3 million workers over the past two decades when they needed to take time off work at critical family moments. Such occurrences include bonding with a new child, caring for ill family members, and helping family members during their military deployment.

“California led the way 20 years ago and today we have the longest-standing Paid Family Leave program in the nation,” said EDD Director Nancy Farias. “Paid Family Leave strengthens businesses, supports workers, and helps keep California strong. EDD is honored to join with community organizations and families across California to celebrate this very important milestone, and the tremendous work being done to make California a better place.”

In recognition of serving California’s families for two decades now, EDD has released a special report summarizing the growth of this groundbreaking program, and highlighting what workers have to say about the value of program benefits. Their stories are also showcased in a new video EDD created, Celebrating 20 Years of Paid Family Leave (YouTube).

California became the first state in the nation to offer Paid Family Leave benefits with the start of benefit payments on July 1, 2004. Since then, 13 states and the District of Columbia have enacted mandatory paid family leave systems.

California’s Paid Family Leave Program at a Glance:

PFL provides families a financial safety net with up to eight weeks of wage replacement benefits to eligible California workers. Weekly benefits are about 60 to 70 percent (depending on income) of wages earned by a worker in the months preceding a claim. EDD offers an online benefit calculator to provide workers with an estimate of their potential weekly benefits. Other important information about Paid Family Leave includes:

  • PFL is part of the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program administered by the EDD.
  • Workers covered by the program pay for these benefits through a deduction noted as “CASDI” on their paystubs.
  • PFL benefits can be used all at once or split up over a 12-month period.
  • Pregnant mothers can receive as many as four weeks of disability benefits for a normal pregnancy before their expected due date, and then transition to PFL benefits for bonding time.
  • Fathers can also be eligible for bonding benefits through PFL.
  • Parents welcoming a child through adoption or foster care placement may qualify.
  • Caregivers can use PFL benefits while tending to a seriously ill child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or registered domestic partner.
  • Family members can qualify for assistance during another family member’s overseas military deployment.

EDD is grateful to our community partners who helped make today’s family resource fair possible, including:

The Women’s Bureau - U.S. Department of Labor First 5
California Work & Family Coalition Court Appointed Special Advocates

California Department of Social Services

  • Child Care and Development
  • CalFresh

California Department of Public Health

  • Women, Infants, & Children (WIC)
  • Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health

Women’s Empowerment


California Black Health Network

Nation’s Finest
Legal Aid at Work Loaves & Fishes
FosterHope Sacramento Department of Industrial Relations
California Department of Fish and Wildlife Casa Sacramento


For more information, visit Celebrating 20 Years of Paid Family Leave.